Springer Nature

Comorbidities and mortality risk in adults younger than 50 years of age with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Posted on 2022-09-28 - 06:55
Abstract Rationale and objective Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), usually diagnosed after the 6th decade, frequently suffer from comorbidities. Whether COPD patients 50 years or younger (Young COPD) have similar comorbidities with the same frequency and mortality impact as aged-matched controls or older COPD patients is unknown. Methods We compared comorbidity number, prevalence and type in 3 groups of individuals with ≥ 10 pack-years of smoking: A Young (≤ 50 years) COPD group (n = 160), an age-balanced control group without airflow obstruction (n = 125), and Old (> 50 years) COPD group (n = 1860). We also compared survival between the young COPD and control subjects. Using Cox proportional model, we determined the comorbidities associated with mortality risk and generated Comorbidomes for the “Young” and “Old” COPD groups. Results The severity distribution by GOLD spirometric stages and BODE quartiles were similar between Young and Old COPD groups. After adjusting for age, sex, and pack-years, the prevalence of subjects with at least one comorbidity was 31% for controls, 77% for the Young, and 86% for older COPD patients. Compared to controls, “Young” COPDs’ had a nine-fold increased mortality risk (p < 0.0001). “Comorbidomes” differed between Young and Old COPD groups, with tuberculosis, substance use, and bipolar disorders being distinct comorbidities associated with increased mortality risk in the Young COPD group. Conclusions Young COPD patients carry a higher comorbidity prevalence and mortality risk compared to non-obstructed control subjects. Young COPD differed from older COPD patients by the behavioral-related comorbidities that increase their risk of premature death.


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Respiratory Research


Miguel J. Divo
José M. Marin
Ciro Casanova
Carlos Cabrera Lopez
Victor M. Pinto-Plata
Marta Marin-Oto
Francesca Polverino
Juan P. de-Torres
Dean Billheimer
Bartolome R. Celli
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